Mau-Mau, also known as Mau Mau or Maumau, is a German card game similar to the American Crazy Eights, the French game 8 américain, and Uno. It is a simple shedding game played with a French-suited deck of 32 cards for two or more players. The game’s objective is to be the first player to get rid of all your cards.
The dealer shuffles the deck to start the round and deals five cards to each player. The remaining cards are placed in a face-down draw pile with the top card revealed next to it to start a discard pile.
The player to the dealer’s left starts by playing a card that matches the suit or rank of the top card on the discard pile. For example, if the top card on the discard pile is a Five of Hearts, the player can play any card of the suit Hearts or any other card with the rank Five.
If the player cannot play a matching card, they must draw a card from the draw pile. If they draw a card that they can play, they may do so, but if not, their turn ends.
There are also certain cards that entail special actions when played:
- Sevens: When a Seven is played, the next player must either play another Seven or draw two cards from the draw pile and skip their turn. If they play a Seven, the next player must play another Seven or draw four cards, and so on.
- Eights: When an Eight is played, the next player must skip their turn.
- Jacks: When a Jack is played, that player names the suit that must be followed next.
In addition, there are plenty of local variations assigning more effects to different cards in the deck. You can play the game in English at the Mau Mau Palace and check out the basic and additional rules there!
If you have only two cards left in your hand, you must say “Mau” before playing your second to last card. If you fail to do so, you must draw two penalty cards from the draw pile.
When you play your final card, you say “Mau-Mau!” After one player depletes their hand, the round is over, and they win.
The other players score penalty points for the cards they still have in hand when another player finishes. The number of penalty points equals the total value of the cards in each player’s hand. The winner gains the combined sum of negative points as positive points.
You can play multiple rounds up to a specific score or number of rounds. The player with the highest total score wins the game.
In online multiplayer Mau-Mau at the Mau Mau Palace, the game follows the described rules for two to four players. You can play in English, German, and more different languages.
Overall, Mau-Mau is a fun card game that players of all ages can enjoy due to its simple rules and fast-paced gameplay.